Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Miracles at Christmas


A time for miracles.

They don’t have to be big, like the parting of the sea, or water changing into alcoholic beverages. They can be itty-bitty and still be miracles, right?

My mother found a pretty, airy red scarf, with white and green Santas, accenting her red coat, and the red and green hat she wore to church on Christmas eve. After church my parents and I drove over to my sister’s house, where they were serving savory dinner crepes, sweet dessert crepes, cold champagne and warm memories. At the table, my mother threw her scarf over her shoulder and it landed on the Christmas tea candles behind her on the buffet. Luckily, my daughter, whom I've always thought of as a heroine, leaped up, dashed around the table and smothered the flame before the rest of us even knew of the problem. No damage, except to the offending scarf. A miracle.

The next day, after dropping my parents off at their apartment, I waited at the light to return to my sister’s house. There is ongoing construction at the freeway on-ramp/off-ramp, which is confusing enough for frequent visitors, so I cannot imagine being there, just for the day. Some poor soul turned up the freeway off-ramp and started to climb toward the freeway. Because of the construction, there is no shoulder, no room to maneuver to avoid collision. I gripped the steering wheel and scrunched my head into my shoulders, squeezing my eyes shut. I heard the horns, the screech of tires, and the wild racing of my heart. But not the gnash of metal on metal. No screams. I opened one eye and saw the cars exiting the freeway had come to a stop a few feet from the front end of the disoriented vehicle. Another miracle.

Then, on my way home, as I crossed the Columbia River separating Oregon from Washington, I sped by Government Island and on a tree right next to the bridge, a bald eagle shimmered in the sunlight. Sunlight. In winter. In Washington.


How about you? Did you experience any Christmas miracles?


  1. Once, at a dinner party at my house, someone accidentally lit a napkin on fire. It burst into flames and everyone just froze, staring at it like, what do we do? One of the guests eventually dumped a glass of water on it and we moved on with our lives. But a scarf? Wrapped around someone's neck? That's a whole different story! Good thing your daughter was there. :) Merry Christmas and wishing you a new year full of many miracles.

  2. Sophie,

    I'm glad your house didn't burn. Whew.

  3. Just swinging by to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year.

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog, by the way. Very kind of you.

  4. Wendy,

    I'm hoping there are some lovely miracles for you in the coming year.

  5. Every year I experience a "Christmas moment" which usually isn't as dramatic as someone I love being saved from the flames, but it is the same sort of awakening.

    Thank you, by the way, for your recent random act of kindness. I very much appreciate your kindred spirit.

  6. Dear Anonymous,

    Are you talking about me leaping in front of the speeding train to scoop up the toddler playing or the tracks, or about me throwing myself in the line of fire, thereby saving the President?

    Or was it telling people I am really enjoying your book?


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